Replay Value: 3
Doom, Grand Theft Auto, Devil May Cry, Metal Gear, Castlevania, Metroid, and Gears of War…what do they have in common? Well, they're just one of the many franchises over the course of gaming history that have marked a major print in the industry and spawned countless copy cat games or, in some cases, superbly inspired ones. Games like Doom eventually lead to Half-Life. Devil May Cry eventually lead to God of War. Metal Gear inspired Splinter Cell. And Gears of War? Where do I begin? How about I jump to the end of the list with Quantum Theory. A once promising looking title, Quantum Theory (previously known as Quantum) went from being a PS3 exclusive to a multiplatform game, and on top of that uses Unreal Engine. So where does Quantum Theory fail?
Everywhere. As soon as you start the game you're thrown into this chaotic tower that's falling apart and ready to take the game's protagonists with it. This tower, you see, is a living tower. Oooo, eery. Well, okay, it isn't eery at all. In fact, as soon as you take reins of your character Syd, you immediately notice that this is just a really obvious Gears of War clone, without any of the satisfaction. Letting off bullets feels great in Gears of War, where as it's a totally hollow feeling here. So already one of the most important aspects of a shooter is flawed and that alone helps detach me from the experience. Unfortunately it only goes downhill from there on. Everything you do, everywhere you go feels about as uninspired as where you last were.
Just how uninspired? Well, take the color gray…now smear it on everything in sight. Now, normally this is a visual complaint, but it's not often that a game's art direction is so bad and so boring that it completely isolates the user from the experience. There is nothing remotely decent about the way the game is designed, not the stages, not the characters, and especially not the enemy designs. It's amazing, because it's not that difficult to design a game like this. Take for example Uncharted. It borrows from Gears of War in that its gameplay mechanics are very similar. But aside from that, everything else is completely different, and that makes it successful. Quantum Theory desperately tries to rip Gears of War by copying everything it does. To make matters worse, there are some questionable design choices related to the boss fights and pointless platforming.
And of course there is multiplayer, but why in God's name would you even want to bother? If you know someone else who's actually bought a copy of this game, I urge you to never speak to them again. Thankfully, it doesn't seem like many people bought Quantum Theory, as you'll only see a few hundred players at a time online. Additionally, an eight-player limitation is not my idea of multiplayer gameplay in a shooter, so consider this game's online features just as worthless as it's single-player story, which by the way is awful and beyond silly.
Quantum Theory is a striking looking game, I'll tell you that much. And by striking, I mean it's like being struck in the eyes with a pair of scissors. That ugly. You know when you were a kid and you'd play with paint and you'd smear it everywhere? That's exactly what the texture detail here looks like, smeared. So not only is there layers upon layers of gray smeared everywhere you look, but the textures are so washed out it's hard to look at the game and not be disgusted. Just about the only redeeming visual aspect this game has is a framerate that's manageable and doesn't drive you nuts. Otherwise, the hideous art direction, the awful level design, and the last-gen texture detail make Quantum Theory one of the worst looking games of the year, easy.
Lastly, we move on to the sound. It takes no longer than two minutes to realize the audio in the game is terrible. The audio mix comes completely screwed right out of the box; you'll notice that the voice acting is completely drowned out and you're required to turn down the game's lousy music, and raise the dialogue volume way up. But when you do that, you realize why the game audio is set to drown out the vocals…because the voice acting is just brutal. As soon as Syd opens his mouth and speaks, you want to crawl in a hole and die. You know that feeling you get when you're embarrassed for someone? That's how I felt listening to the voice acting.
Quantum Theory is the epitome of awful game design. Uninspired. Underdeveloped. Gray. Some of the worst story telling this generation has seen, coupled with some of the worst visuals you'll find on your beautiful PS3 or Xbox 360, in addition to level design that'll bore you the minute you lay your eyes on it. A lot of people often say 'hey, I'll wait for this to hit the bargain bin'. While that's okay for a game that's in the range of a six or seven, it's not okay for Quantum Theory. Just avoid it all costs, even if that cost is a penny. I simply cannot justify the purchase of this game no matter how inexpensive.